Do you ever look at the way cars of recent years do the side styling of their cars? Big, round front fenders with a line that runs off to the back, but nothing more than a slight rounding over the rear wheels? Maybe you’ll see it now, if you hadn’t already.
Often times with cars of the 1980’s, ‘90’s, and even the 2000’s got sported up, part of the treatment was box fenders—it helped allow for wider wheels and tires. A good example of a “plain” model against the fast would be the commonly revered BMW 3-Series E30 coupe which, in M3 guise, featured those sharp creases in the metal to help beef it up.
More modern sport-compacts to do this last were the Mitsubishi Lancers, which the Lancer Evolution vastly improved the aggressive looks of.
There’s no need to limit the boxed fenders to the performance models, either—especially for the rear of the vehicles. Subaru had boxed fenders on all the 2001-2007 Impreza models.
While perhaps a biased statement as an owner, I have a whole new appreciation for the Toyota Echo and the crease over the rear fender. It’s actually quite a small protrusion, as you can’t even make it out in the photo below.
However, when the light hits that slight jut in just the right way, it creates a much welcome break in what would be an even more awkward panel.
Look at all the current entries in the subcompact and compact classes of automobile, and you’ll find them absent as these examples show:
Even performance brands like BMW’s 1M Coupe have long gone without boxed flares.
Wouldn’t those look better with a strake over the rear arches than a minimal bubble? Thank goodness the Lancer Evolution still does it. Apparently so does the Honda Fit (partially) and (not pictured) Audi RS5.
All photos from WikiCommons, save for my Echo and the red Lancer Evo RS which links to the original page.